ETUC Summer School on Collective Bargaining, 5-7 September 2004

The ETUC Coordination of Collective Bargaining Committee started its work with the traditional summer school. Issues on the agenda: overview of developments, collective bargaining in new member states, working time directive and European Works Councils. Most attention was focused on the efforts of employers to reduce labour costs, for example by lengthening the working week through blackmail like in the case of Siemens, Bosch and other companies. While they are isolated cases and responses to specific situations, employers have been quick to seek generalisation without paying much attention to the consequences. It would lead to a reduction in demand, there own products would not be bought, and could lead to a slump in economic growth and dampen recovery. The ETUC coordination of collective bargaining committee will take many of these up again at its meeting in October.